Family Farm Days
Family Farm Days are events that encourage families to enjoy time on the farm together. These events are provided free of charge when grants allow. Past Family Farm Days have included:
Insect & Art Community Day
UWL Entomologist and Artist Barrett Klein led a FREE afternoon of insects and art on the farm. Participants searched for and identified insects in their natural environment and learned all about their behavior, anatomy, and role in the ecosystem. Barrett makes science fun and accessible for all ages! After an insect walk, we talked more about pollinators, why insect numbers are declining world-wide, and discussed what we can do together to help preserve then. We ended the day by painting yard signs to designate inscet-friendly habitats and participants received free native wildflower seeds to plant in their own yards.
Fall Mushroom Walk on the Farm
Mushrooms pop up everywhere on the farm in the fall. This community day focused on fungus. Sabrina Aspenson of UWL will led us on a trek through the woods and pastures to look for a number of different species of fungi, both edible and non-edible. Some common edible mushrooms in the fall months are hen of the woods, chicken of the woods, puffballs, oysters, and a variety of other species. Although finding mushrooms to fill the fridge is exciting, the non-edible mushrooms can tell a different story about the overall health of the area. One of those species is Trametes elegans, which is endemic to southern states. However, in the past couple years this species has been found in the area indicating that climate change can be tracked through mushroom distributions.
Sabrina's graduate research is focused on the 1,300 species that we have documented in the Driftless region. Collections have been ongoing for 20 years and around 400 people have contributed to this research including three professional forays. Currently the goal is to sequence their DNA and see how glaciation has affected the speciation of fungi found in the Driftless. Preliminary data suggests that we have unusual distributions of fungi and this area is very unique in how it was formed.